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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13316
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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Hello, I was at a Penn State game over the weekend and went

Resolved Question:

Hello, I was at a Penn State game over the weekend and went to a tailgate right before. I was stopped by a bike police officer when i was holding a beer. I gave him my id and admitted to having two beers. I received a Non-Traffic Citation/Summons section 6308(a). I have 10 days to go to the Magisterial District Office to plead guilty or not guilty. Penn State offers a program where you take 5 3-hour classes to get this off the record. What im really worried about is losing my license for 90 days. Im 18 years old and i was very cooperative with the police officer. I only had 2 beers which i was pretty much sober. Im thinking about going and asking the judge to lower my charge because i was cooperative and that i need my car.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Alex J. Esq. :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex J. Esq. :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

yes

Alex J. Esq. :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex J. Esq. :

I am very sorry about this unfortunate situation.

Alex J. Esq. :

This is a very serious situation.

Alex J. Esq. :

Have you consulted and hired a local criminal defense attorney to represent you in this case?

Customer:

Yes i understand that

Customer:

no i have not

Alex J. Esq. :

Well, basically, if someone with such charge enters into alternative program and completes it while the charge would be dismissed, there would still be no way to avoid the 90 day mandatory driver license suspension.

Alex J. Esq. :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

Yes

Alex J. Esq. :

So, while it might be a good option to enter into a program, it is important to understand that it will come with a 90 day suspension during which someone in you situation would not be able to drive under any circumstances.

Customer:

Thats why i am thinking about asking for a deal with the judge since this is a minor drinking incident versus what happens at penn state. At this tailgate i saw underage girls puking and everything. I know several people that got these first incident summons because they were blacked out on the street or getting blacked out and walking 20 miles down the highway.

Customer:

I believe this would work since i am a hard working student that sits in the library 5-6 hours a week during the week and have a 4.0 gpa at this moment.

Alex J. Esq. :

Generally, the judge will not reduce the charge, it is up to the prosecutor and as a matter of public policy, this type of offenses are very aggressively prosecuted by the state.

Alex J. Esq. :

It would never work unfortunately.

Customer:

I pretty much incriminated myself when i told the cop i had 2 beers. I should of plead the 5th and not shown my identification which i don't have to carry.

Alex J. Esq. :

And telling the judge or prosecutor as to how they should show some mercy and leniency because there are other students committing far more serious crimes would only get you in more trouble.

Alex J. Esq. :

Correct

Alex J. Esq. :

When a suspect confesses it is a very easy case for the prosecution.

Customer:

What kind of a charge could i ask for for the judge to lower it just to try if he would since he obviously will know that this is very minor due to him dealing with these all day everyday.

Alex J. Esq. :

Unfortunately, when it comes to criminal charges, trying to handle them on your own is never a good idea and pleading with the judge or DA would not work either.

Alex J. Esq. :

I already answered this.

Alex J. Esq. :

It is not the judge that makes decisions as to the type of charge.

Customer:

Don't i have to go in front of the judge anyways to plead guilty?

Customer:

since the fine amount is not specified.

Alex J. Esq. :

Yes.

Alex J. Esq. :

But it is never a good idea to plead guilty before consulting with an experienced local criminal defense attorney.

Alex J. Esq. :

The fine will be at the court's discretion.

Alex J. Esq. :

bit the fine can be up to $500 plus court costs.

Customer:

The cop told me that if i pleaded guilty and paid the fine, this would not go on my record since its just a summons. Is this correct or was he lying?

Customer:

fine if up to 300 dollars.

Alex J. Esq. :

No its not correct.

Alex J. Esq. :

It is a summary offense, which is the lowest form of criminal offense

Customer:

I love how cops can legally lie to civilians.

Alex J. Esq. :

and the fine is up to $500 plus court costs

Alex J. Esq. :

Yes. You can never rely on anything police tells you, as it was this police officer who charged you with this crime in the first place.

Alex J. Esq. :

here is the copy of the law for your record:

Alex J. Esq. :

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/wu01/li/li/ct/htm/18/00.063.008.000..htm

Customer:

I was told and i read that the fine is only up to $300 dollars

Alex J. Esq. :

Please read the statute at the link I have just provided to you.

Alex J. Esq. :

The fine is up to $500 plus court costs, which can be several hundred more.

Customer:

http://www.altoona.psu.edu/studentconduct/docs/SCMDPBrochure.pdf

Customer:

that is provided by penn state

Alex J. Esq. :

This is not an official website

Alex J. Esq. :

I have provided you with the link to the official PA website to the PA General Assembly.

Customer:

I see

Alex J. Esq. :

I am sorry you are in this difficult situation, but please understand that I do have professional obligation to provide JA customers with correct and accurate answers.

Alex J. Esq. :

Can you please tell me if you have any related follow up questions.

Customer:

What should i say to the judge when i stand in front of him in court

Customer:

any advice

Alex J. Esq. :

I cannot tell you what to say or not to say to the judge, that is an advice you can only obtain from your local attorney, who will be able to review your entire situation.

Customer:

I'm not planning on getting an attorney

Alex J. Esq. :

I would strongly urge you to consult with your local attorney and let him/her handle this for you, as you do not want a criminal record to follow you throughout your life.

Customer:

I can do the program and get it off my record which is what im planning to do.

Alex J. Esq. :

Well, I wish you the best of luck.

Customer:

Thank You

Alex J. Esq. :

But basically, when someone is arraigned before the judge, there are only two things that the defendant would state:

Alex J. Esq. :

1) Not Guilty

Alex J. Esq. :

2) Guilty

Customer:

I understand

Alex J. Esq. :

While some defendants try to offer an explanation to the judge, it generally does not really make a difference when it comes to sentencing.

Alex J. Esq. :

Especially for minor summary offenses.

Customer:

So am i allowed to offer an explanation to the judge?

Alex J. Esq. :

Yes, but it is generally not a good idea.

Customer:

Why is that

Alex J. Esq. :

not without the guidance of the local counsel.

Customer:

Why

Alex J. Esq. :

Judges want to see defendants who are remorseful and accept responsibility for their actions and most self represented criminal defendants end up trying to justify their actions instead of saying how sorry they are, especially when the defendant pleads guilty.

Customer:

I see

Alex J. Esq. :

Do you have any related follow up questions for me?

Customer:

no i do not

Alex J. Esq. :


Alex J. Esq. :

I wish you the best of luck.

Please click on the "Excellent Service" feedback, so I can receive credit for my answer.

Bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, but are not required

Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13316
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
Alex J. Esq. and 12 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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